- Winter - The Season of Stillness -
Winter is the time for rest. In many places, the land becomes barren, frozen and appears dead. Trees shed their leaves. Animals hibernate or spend more time in their dens and burrows. Birds migrate to warmer places.
But all is not dead, it’s simply hidden. Winter is the time when living things rest and replenish.
How can we better rest and replenish ourselves to cultivate what will bloom in the spring?
- Kidneys -
Our kidneys have two primary functions: sending waste to the bladder and purifying blood before it returns to the heart.
If our kidneys are not optimally performing, we may experience anxiety, lower back pain, high blood pressure, stiffness, and headaches.
Each kidney has an adrenal gland that is responsible for supplying over 50 vital hormones. These include aldosterone, which helps regulate blood pressure, cortisol and adrenaline which help the body respond to stress.
When the adrenals are overburdened, known as adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue is the primary symptom. People may experience:
- Sleep disorders
- Weight gain
It is common to experience these issues after a period of great stress or time of grief. It is critical to recharge and get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and eat a nutritious diet.
Some of the supplements we recommend for kidney and adrenal health are:
K-Kidney by Systemic Formulas
K-Kidney provides comprehensive support for our kidneys and kidney tissue. K-Kidney is great for general bladder health.
RenaVen by Premier Research Labs
RenaVen delivers nutrients for premier detoxification and kidney support. The natural ingredients support kidney function, immune function, detoxification, and optimal kidney health.
Ga Adrenal by Systemic Formulas
Ga builds energy and balances pH by providing support for both the adrenal medulla and cortex. This formula supports the fundamental energy process, retention of minerals in serum, and supports stressed adrenal glands.
Adaptogen R3 by Premier Research Labs
Adaptogen R-3 from Premier Research Labs is a world-class adaptogenic formula with herbal synergists. Features the famous 3 "Rs": Rhapontium, Rhodiola Rosea and Rhodiola Crenulata; the perfect blend to promote oxygen utilization, mental acuity, endurance, and healthy fat metabolism.
D3 1000 IU by Pure Encapsulations
The sun produces less Vitamin D in the winter months and we usually spend less time outdoors. D3 is a great supplement that supports kidney, bone, breast, prostate, cardiovascular, colon and immune health.
- Bladder -
The bladder is where water converges and is eliminated. When the bladder isn’t functioning properly, the body is at risk of storing toxic waste. Staying hydrated is important to flush out excess bacteria and acids. If urine becomes concentrated, it can irritate the bladder leading to inflammation.
Uriven by Premier Research Labs
UriVen supports healthy bladder function and fights urinary tract infections. It features ingredients like organic cranberry, marshmallow root, and olive leaf to boost immunity and maintain urinary tract health.
- Hydration -
The element of winter is water and proper hydration is key. In the colder months, when we may not feel like drinking water, hot tea is the perfect drink. Try warming herbs like cinnamon, ginger, and peppermint.
Soup is the ideal food for winter. Rich, nourishing bone broths make a great base with winter vegetables and help keep us hydrated.
Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale are great for wintertime.
Hearty stews nourish us during the colder months. It’s also a great time to eat rice and other grains.
Cook it low and slow.
Delicious winter citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines, and grapefruits provide Vitamin C.
Be gentle and compassionate with yourself. Take some time to honor where you are in your life. Listen to your body and what you need.
You may want to use digital devices less. Perhaps take a warm bath with essential oils and Epsom salts. Get to sleep a little earlier. Winter is not the time to over-exercise.
When you take some time for yourself, everything flows better.
Now is the time to plant the seeds that will germinate in the spring. Take some time to reflect on what you want to sprout.
To learn more about winter health, check out my podcast episode Change of Season, Winter. Available on your favorite podcast app.
This flu season has been particularly bad. To learn strategies to prevent getting the flu, and if you did catch it how to recover faster and alleviate symptoms, listen to my podcast Flu Season 2020.
We have at least another month of social distancing. I know many of us are struggling with the disruptions to our lives.
If you are feeling disjointed, here are a few strategies to help you cope during these trying times:
Forty-seven percent of Americans report experiencing higher levels of anxiety than the prior year.
The human brain is wired to experience anxiety when it signals something is not right and can help us avoid a dangerous situation. But persistent anxiety that disrupts our lives can signal an anxiety disorder. One-third of adults will grapple with this at some point in their lives.
When we experience anxiety, the brain signals to our gut we are under stress and a combination of hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol are released. This can affect us in different ways. Common reactions to anxiety are heart palpitations, knots in the stomach or dizziness and light-headedness.
While encountering a saber tooth tiger may not be a problem these days, there are many less-lethal stressors that affect us today.